Leela Year Six - Across the Pacific

Well.... to our own surprise here we are

17 May 2022 | Vuda Marina, Lautoka, Fiji
26 January 2022 | Australia
08 November 2021 | Viti Levu, Fiji
02 September 2021 | Paradise Resort, Taveuni
29 August 2021 | Paradise Resort, Taveuni, Fiji
10 August 2021 | Western S Pacific
19 June 2021 | New Jersey
14 March 2021 | At sea
05 March 2021 | Raroia, Tuamotus
05 February 2021 | Raivavae, The Australs Group, French Polynesia
04 February 2021 | Raivavae, The Australs Group, French Polynesia
17 January 2021 | Tahiti
13 December 2020 | Papeete, Tahiti
14 November 2020 | Pape’ete, Tahiti
14 November 2020 | Tahiti
01 October 2020 | Fakarava
24 September 2020 | Fakarava South Pass
19 August 2020 | Papeete, Tahiti
02 August 2020 | Pape’ete, French Polynesia
09 July 2020 | Papeete, Tahiti

Half Way to Fiji

10 August 2021 | Western S Pacific
Now well into the seventh day we look to be about half way in time. We are a little under half way in distance because of the slow start. We now have a about 1,000nm (2,000km) to go. The forecast was quite dicy for several days but it is now looking like something between good and awesome. Of course, it can change again but the closer we get the more reliable it becomes so looking good.

After a couple of days upwind at the start we have been running downwind along the 15s latitude under a twin genoa rig. This setup is extremely efficient, yesterday we managed 161nm, but you have to live with quite a lot of roll. We would have liked to put up a small main on the centerline to damp the roll but we only have one pole so the boom has to act as the second pole - oh well.... We do put a small staysail up on the centerline which helps damp things down a little but really we just get used to it after a while. Only one meal has gone orbital so far. The resulting hissy fit nearly saw our favorite pepper grinder tossed to Neptune. Fortunately it was a bad throw....

The forecast is for a couple more days of this, a brief lull, then a beam reach into Fiji. We will use the lull to dismantle the bird's nest of rigging that the double headsail entails and go back to conventional sailing.

I've pontificated about this before but it is astonishingly big and empty out here. Since leaving the Society Islands a week ago we have seen nothing. No ships, no land, no planes, just sea, sky and utterly amazing stars that fill the moonless sky and reach right down to the horizon. It really is a priceless experience, if a little unnerving at times. Apparently we have a significant meteor shower coming up so the show will go on.

It took us longer to get into the swing of this passage than previous times. The boat was ready but we were poorly prepared. Lots of overseas travel and visiting people broke up our fitness regime and we just did not make enough effort to be in good shape. Lesson learned. Anyway, we are feeling pretty good now, nothing like being tossed from side to side 24hrs a day for a week to tone things up....

At the moment we are tearing along at 6.5kts (that's 'tearing' for us ...) under a blue sky filled with puffy white clouds - bliss. We are making water in the sunshine as it is forecast to get cloudier and we would like the tanks to be full when we arrive to deal with a bunch of salty clothes. Enough for now, more when we get to Fiji.

Stay safe and take care.
Vessel Name: Leela
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 38.8
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, NH
Crew: Graham and Janaki
We are a Brit and an Australian now based in the wonderful community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We have a delightful home there but a couple of years ago we began to feel a bit over-domesticated so we thought we would buy another boat and head south. [...]
Leela, a Bristol 38.8 has turned out to be a wonderful cruising boat for us. Some might find it a little cramped by modern standards but it feels like just the right balance of living space and storage to us. She sails like a dream. She is remarkably well balanced and is comfortable in pretty [...]
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